📷 “Axios on HBO” is back! Season 2 will feature exclusive interviews with Jared Kushner, Janet Napolitano, Leon Panetta — as well as my interview with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Tune in to Axios on HBO starting this Sunday 6pm ET/PT.
As for today's Login there's lots of good stuff within its 1,242 words.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
As 2019 began, many in Washington and Silicon Valley predicted it would be the year Congress took action on national privacy legislation — but the year is half over, and momentum has seriously slowed, Axios' David McCabe reports.
Why it matters: While members of Congress negotiate behind closed doors on a comprehensive bill that the public has yet to see, state lawmakers are forging ahead on their own.
Details: The most closely-watched effort to produce a national privacy law is a working group with 6 members of the Senate Commerce Committee, traditionally a leader on internet issues.
A person familiar with the committee’s efforts said the group was aiming to reach a bipartisan consensus, and has been meeting with outside parties.
The big picture: Other lawmakers have also failed to produce privacy proposals.
The bottom line: Reaching consensus on bipartisan legislation is historically more difficult in an election year, so policymakers intent on crafting a stricter standard for the likes of Google and Facebook are running out of time.
Go deeper: Read David's full story here.
Speaking of privacy, I spent most of Wednesday live streaming Common Sense Media's Designing for our Future conference — an event looking at how the tech industry could better serve the next generation. (I was planning to go in person but decided to keep my cold germs to myself.)
Why it matters: I spent basically a whole day listening to a webcast, which should tell you something — and it's not that I love webcasts. It's because the topic is important — especially for parents who wrestle with hard and persistent questions like which digital devices are ok and when should children start using them.
What we're hearing: Common Sense CEO Jim Steyer and crew amassed a smart collection of folks from the tech industry, academia and activist groups to talk about the impacts of technology on youth.
The most memorable discussion was among a panel of youths from Dave Eggers' 826 National, a writing program. More scary than their horror stories (and those were pretty scary): None of the teens would allow their younger selves to use a smartphone.
Yes, but: Despite lots of critiques of Facebook and Google and their business models, no one seemed to have a good alternative.
In the end, many agreed that regulation is probably a necessity — at least as an adjunct to, if not a replacement for, an industrywide shift in priorities.
My thought bubble: The conference made me want to re-evaluate my own smartphone use, as well as my family's.
Screenshot from Apple.com
Facing antitrust complaints from Spotify and others, Apple published a chart aiming to show all the ways in which its homegrown apps face competition.
Why it matters: Apple hopes the chart — and new website — will help convince regulators and others that its App Store offers a fair and level playing field. The company touts the many apps it says compete with the iPhone's calendar, camera, browser and other built-in apps.
Yes, but: Critics point out that the same chart also shows just how tough it is for those looking to compete with Apple head-on. In many cases, for example, users can't change the default from Apple's app to a rival.
The big picture: The U.S. Supreme Court recently allowed a suit by customers charging the App Store with monopolistic practices to move forward.
There's a lot to love about Lenovo's Moto Z line, which is now on its fourth iteration.
What's new: Verizon used that capability to create with Motorola a 5G mod to make the Z3 its first 5G-capable phone and the Z4 will, naturally, also work with the 5G mod.
Yes, but: The Z line hasn't been enough of a commercial success to generate lots of add-ons. Indeed, there are no new mods to accompany this year's Moto Z4.
What's missing: It's not fully water-resistant, there's only one rear camera, and it uses older fingerprint sensor technology.
The bottom line: There are lots of other mid-range phones out there, but the Z4's versatility helps it stand out.
Not everything in an art museum is art.